China’s great science swindle

China’s great science swindle

Sharri Markson – The Australian – Monday 24 August

BEIJING EXPLOITS AUSTRALIA’S LAX LAWS TO SIGN UP RESEARCHERS FOR SECRET PROGRAM INVESTIGATION The Chinese government is actively recruiting leading Australian scientists for a secretive research program that offers lucrative salaries and perks but requires their inventions to be patented in China and obliges them to abide by Chinese law.
An investigation by The Australian has revealed dozens of leading scientists at major universities across the country have been recruited to a Chinese government program called the Thousand Talents Plan, which FBI director Christopher Wray describes as economic espionage and a national security threat.
The Australian’s investigation shows that, in many instances, Australian academics have been named in Chinese patent applications despite their Australian universities being unaware of their involvement.
Academics targeted globally under the Thousand Talents Plan may have a field of research with a military application, sparking the risk the Chinese government is misusing their inventions and technology for military advancement and even to develop weapons.
When told about The Australian’s revelations, Andrew Hastie – chair of parliament’s joint intelligence committee – called for a parliamentary inquiry.
Mr Hastie said the revelations demonstrated how national research and intellectual property was “being plundered by the CCP”.
In many of the cases uncovered, universities did not know about academics’ connections to the Thousand Talents Plan and patents lodged in China prior to The Australian presenting the evidence.
UNSW said that at no time had one of its Thousand Talent Plan recipients, Dong Zhaoyang, “sold or relinquished patents to any Chinese power companies”.
When presented with evidence that Professor Dong was named in patents lodged with the National Intellectual Property Administration of China just last year, the UNSW spokeswoman said this was done “without his knowledge” and “was in line with the academic culture in China at the time”.
Alongside his salary from UNSW, his institute there has received $15m in Australian government and Australian Research Council funding. But he has also received funding from his Thousand Talents scholarship through the Chinese government’s second largest energy company, China Southern Grid. It paid for Professor Dong to hire researchers at UNSW.
He also ran a research program for the company at the university. China People’s Daily stated in 2017 that Professor Dong was head of Changsha University of Science and Technology’s School of Electrical and Information Engineering and was part of the Thousand Talents Plan. Thousand Talents Plan contracts usually legally require the copyright for any research or inventions connected with the program to be registered in China – irrespective of whether the research has been done in Australia or includes Australian funding.
In return, academics receive a second salary commonly worth more than $150,000 plus lucrative research grants that can stretch into the millions from a Chineseaffiliated university.
There are a suite of other perks including education for their children, housing allowances and jobs for their spouses.
The Australian’s revelations show the widespread infiltration of Australia’s universities by the Chinese Communist Party, with almost every major institution complicit through its inaction in allowing China to be the beneficiary of its research and inventions.
The Australian can publish the names of more than 30 academics who have been recruited to the Thousand Talents Plan or another similar Chinese government recruitment program, or have registered their intellectual property in China.
In one case uncovered by The Australian, Curtin University’s Optus Chair of Artificial Intelligence, Brad Yu, who has received large amounts of Australian and US government funding, has been working at China’s Hangzhou Dianzi University. Dianzi is designated “highrisk” for its level of Chinese military defence research. It has two major defence laboratories, five designated defence research areas and holds secret security credentials, “allowing it to undertake classified weapons and defence technology projects”.
Professor Yu specialises in drone automation and artificial intelligence, and has been working on an area of intense interest to the Chinese government: aerial warfare and co-ordinating thousands of unmanned aerial vehicles to co-operate in the air. Chinese-language reports state he is part of Chinese government recruitment programs including the Qianjiang Scholar of Zhejiang Provincial Talent program and the Taishan Scholars Project, Shandong Province.
Despite being on full-time pay at Curtin, where he receives a 60 per cent loading on a professor’s salary and his research institute has been funded to the tune of $4m, The Australian understands he has spent most of the year in China.
After The Australian contacted him and Curtin University, Professor Yu’s Hangzhou Dianzi profile became unavailable for public view. Curtin declined to answer specific questions about him, despite issuing a press release with great fanfare when it appointed him to the role of Optus Chair of Artificial Intelligence in May last year.
“In relation to Professor Yu . we have taken, and will continue to take, steps we consider appropriate in managing their association with the university,” a Curtin spokeswoman said.
“It is not our policy to comment publicly on matters concerning individual members of staff or their employment arrangements. “Professor Yu has spent some time in Western Australia this year, but is currently in China.”
When contacted by The Australian, Brad Yu said: “I was aware of the Thousand Talents Plan run by Chinese enthral government. Your question indicates that you have assumed/believed that I am/ was a participant, but this is incorrect.”
He declined to answer further questions. University of Sydney mathematics professor Reuibin Zhang, who specialises in quantum field theory and was recruited to the Thousand Talents program in 2018, and Monash University’s associate dean until 2018, Yi-bing Cheng, a physics professor specialising in lasers, who is named in more than 20 patents filed in China assigned to universities including Wuhan University of Technology, which conducts a high level of defence research.
There’s also Professor Qiaoliang Bao, a nanotechnology specialist, who was a Thousand Talents recruit while at Monash University and is affiliated with Soochow University, assigning 24 patents to China while on the Monash payroll.
University of Western Australia professor Dongke Zhang, who has received more than $48m in funding from the Australian government and overseas industries, was recruited to the Thousand Talents Plan and is now a professor at Shanxi University and Shenyang Aerospace University, while paid as a full-time professor at UWA. Nine inventions in which he was involved have been assigned to China.
There’s also UNSW professor Jun Wang who has an official position with the People’s Republic of China’s chief administrative authority, the State Council of China, where he sits on the Expert Advisory Committee of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office.
UNSW said his role on the State Council of China had been disclosed and “discussed with this supervisor” and he said he had never done defence or military research anywhere in the world.
The Australian is not suggesting the academics have acted inappropriately. Rather, the CCP is taking advantage of lax universities operating in a legal and regulatory framework that does not outlaw terrn distinguished professor”.
When presented with the evidence that Professor Wang was named in 11 patent applications lodged in China, UTS said: “Professor Wang has no knowledge of 10 out of the 11 patent applications referenced.
The 11th patent application is known to the university and results from a funded-research collaboration. Professor programs such as the Thousand Talents Plan. Investigation launched The Australian’s investigation has exposed that universities do not know: how many Thousand Talents Plan recipients are in their employ; if their academics are lodging patents in China; and whether their academics are being paid second salaries by affiliated Chinese universities.
UTS denied one of its professors, Guoxiu Wang, was part of the Thousand Talents Plan and objected to the “sullying of the reputations of its senior researchers for their participation in formal international scholarly programs”.
When asked why Professor Wang was repeatedly named as a Thousand Talents recipient on Chinese university websites, the UTS spokesman said the term was used “as a sign of respect akin to the Wang has contacted the relevant parties to ask that his name be taken off these applications.”
The University of Queensland was also unaware one of its professors, Zhou Xiaofang, who has participated in the Thousand Talents program, was listed as an inventor on 27 patents assigned to Soochow University in China.
Likewise it was unaware another Thousand Talents recipient, professor Li Ling, was the inventor on two patents filed in China with Hohai University as the applicant. And it only discovered that professor Adam Ye had been recruited to the Thousand Talents program after he left the university in 2019.
The University of Newcastle, which said none of its academics had disclosed Thousand Talents affiliations since 2016, has commenced a review after The Australian informed it that its professor Minyue Fu, a control systems and signal processing specialist, had been a Thousand Talents Plan recipient since 2010, was an academic committee member of the South China University of Technology’s autonomous systems lab and was named on about 20 patents assigned to Chinese universities or institutions.
“We have commenced a review of these matters raised,” a spokeswoman. “This includes patents overseas, international university memberships and associated MOUs. We anticipate this review will be completed by the end of September. We take the issue of foreign interference very seriously.”
Mr Hastie said an urgent parliamentary inquiry was essential. “Our universities are sovereign institutions, funded by the Commonwealth,” he said.
“These revelations demonstrate how national research and intellectual property is being plundered by the CCP. Only a parliamentary inquiry, followed by decisive action, can bring the transparency we need to protect our national interests in this sector.”
Liberal senator James Paterson said: “These are profoundly disturbing revelations. Particularly concerning is the total lack of transparency about these unorthodox arrangements. It’s time to lift the lid with a broad-ranging parliamentary inquiry into foreign interference at Australian universities.”
Signing up Thousand Talent contracts state that the Chinese university “owns the copyrights of the works, inventions, patents and other intellectual properties produced by Party B during the Contract period”.
Some contracts even order academics to observe Chinese legal system and religious practices, saying they “shall observe relevant laws and regulations of the People’s Republic of China and shall not interfere in China’s internal affairs”.
But the contracts also state that academics cannot disclose they are a Thousand Talents recipient without permission, inviting deception with their original western employer.
The failure to disclose second incomes is in breach of most university conflict-of-interest policies.
Australian Strategic Policy Institute analyst Alex Joske, who released a report on Chinese talent recruitment programs last week, titled Hunting the Phoenix, said the Thousand Talents program was a major concern that needed better regulation by government and universities.
“It leads to uncontrolled technology transfer to China which can lead to commercial harm, harm in terms of giving technology for military transfer to China and moral concerns, for example, concerns that technology developed with Australian funding or institutional backing could be applied to China’s surveillance state or monitoring and imprisonment of minorities and dissidents,” Mr Joske said.
Chen Yonglin, a Chinese diplomat who defected to Australia sparking diplomatic tensions in 2005, said the Thousand Talents Plan was “totally a theft” and warned that the Australian government and universities should take it more seriously.
“China is particularly interested in some world-leading fields of hi-tech in Australia such as quantum science, biotechnology, nanotechnology and new materials, superconducting materials, medical science and other advanced hitech,” Mr Chen said.
“Australia should halt all highlevel science and technology collaboration with Communist China.”
He said the Thousand Talents Plan was run by all levels of the Chinese government including overseas missions, Chinese organisations affiliated to the Chinese government, and CCP United Front organisations and they were keeping the program very quiet.”
China internet search engines such as baidu.com and sohu.com, Wechat and Weibo have banned the sensitive phrase search of 1000 Talents on April 18, 2020,” Mr Chen said.
The Chinese Government has taken the program underground, censoring and wiping records of academic participation online.
Mentions of the program have been erased from scientists’ CVs and censored from Chinese government websites. Charles Sturt University public ethics academic Clive Hamilton said if there were scholars in Australia on the books of the Thousand Talents program, “then they are in effect working for the Chinese government while being paid to work at Australian universities”.
The US Department of Energy and the US National Science Foundation have banned employees from participating in the Thousand Talents Plan and other recruitment programs, while a US Senate Committee has said the program is a threat to national security.
The FBI has launched criminal investigations into Thousand Talents scientists for not declaring second salaries, tax fraud and intellectual property theft, saying it amounted to “economic espionage”.
John Brown, assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, told the US Senate committee on homeland security and governmental affairs last November that through talent recruitment programs “the Chinese government offers lucrative financial and research benefits to recruit individuals working and studying outside of China who possess access to, or expertise in, high-priority research fields”.
“While mere participation in a talent plan is not illegal, investigations by the FBI and our partner agencies have revealed that participants are often incentivised to transfer to China the research they conduct in the United States, as well as other proprietary information to which they can gain access, and remain a significant threat to the United States,” Mr Brown said.
“In some cases, this has resulted in violations of US laws, including economic espionage, theft of trade secrets, and grant fraud.
“In addition, many talent plan ‘Professor Wang has contacted the relevant parties to ask that his name be taken off these applications’ UNSW SPOKESWOMAN participants sign contracts outlining work that mirrors the research they perform at American institutions.
These contracts subject participants to the broad laws of the Chinese government and ironically – strictly protect China’s right to the patents and other intellectual property developed during work within the talent plan.”
In Australia, the government has no oversight on how many academics with taxpayer funded grants have been recruited to the Thousand Talents Plan. Whereas FBI director Christopher Wray gave a July speech outlining the risks of the Thousand Talents Plan, a security source said no Australian agency was charged with investigating this issue.
A Department of Home Affairs spokeswoman said the government was working with universities after the introduction of guidelines to counter foreign interference in the sector.
“It is critical that the work of Australian researchers is not undermined by foreign interference and activities that put our universities’ people, information, intellectual property and data at risk,” the spokeswoman said.
‘Australia should halt all high-level science and technology collaboration with Communist China’ CHEN YONGLIN FORMER CHINESE DIPLOMAT RUIBIN ZHANG University of Sydney Professor Zhang is a mathematics and statistics academic specialising in quantum field theory.
In 2018, while working at USYD, Zhang took up a Thousand Talents scholarship with Shandong Normal University.
USYD said it was “unable to comment on Mr Zhang’s situation.”
Zhang says he has never conducted research connected to military applications. XIAO-LIN (JOSHUA) ZHAO University of NSW Professor Zhao was a lecturer at Monash University until April last year, when he was appointed the associate dean of UNSW Engineering. He specialises in hybrid construction and advanced materials. Reports from a gathering at the Melbourne Chinese Consulate in 2011 note Zhao was part of the Thousand Talents plan, through Tsinghua University.
He has disclosed this affiliation to UNSW when he applied for the role of associate dean.
YI-BING CHENG Monash University (until 2018) Professor Cheng is a physicist who specialises in lasers. He was associate dean at Monash’s School of Engineering until March 2018 and he has since moved to the Wuhan University of Technology (WUT). His biography states he is a Thousand Talents scholar. More than 10 patents he is named in were assigned to either the WUT or Huazhong University of Science and Technology while he was employed by Monash.
XUEMIN LIN (below) University of NSW Professor Lin joined UNSW in 1997 where he is the head of Data and Knowledge Research Group in the School of Computer Science and Engineering after obtaining degrees from Sudan University in China and the University of Queensland. Lin was a Thousand Talents scholar from 2011 to 2016 with East China Normal University, for which he was paid an allowance. He has disclosed this appointment to UNSW.
JINGLING XUE University of NSW Professor Xue, a computer scientist who specialises in programming languages, has previously co-authored research with Chinese generals linked to Beijing’s nuclear weapons program. UNSW said he ended his relationship with NUDT in 2017. Professor Xue has disclosed two Thousand Talent plan appointments to UNSW under which he received a living allowance.
YANCHUN ZHANG Victoria University Professor Zhang, who specialises in online databases and pattern recognition, is an academic at Victoria University and has worked in the past with the World Health Organisation and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. He was a Thousand Talents plan scholar from 2011 to 2013 with Fudan University, an appointment disclosed to VU.
WANG XUNGAI Deakin University Professor Wang, a materials scientist who specialises in fibres such as cotton and silk, joined Deakin University in 1998 and is now the director of the Institute for Frontier Materials. A 2017 Victorian government paper on the state’s defence industry identified Professor Wang as a key researcher in the sector. While working in Australia, he became part of the Thousand Talents program, affiliated with Wuhan Textile University from 2010. He made Deakin aware of his involvement from the start and advised that he has “been given an allowance to cover accommodation and other local expenses”.
MINYUE FU University of Newcastle Professor Fu, a control systems and signal processing and sensor networks expert, is an electrical engineering academic at UON. Chinese university websites note that Professor Fu was awarded a Thousand Talents scholarship with an affiliation to Zhejiang University in 2010. He also appears to be named as one of the inventors of more than a dozen patents assigned to Guangdong University of Technology. UON has ‘commenced a review of these matters’ but Professor Fu said none of those patents involved an UON intellectual property.
JIANFENG NIE Monash University Professor Nie, whose current projects include the development of high strength magnesium and aluminium alloys, is a professor of material science and engineering at Monash University. According to Chongqing University, Professor Nie was awarded a Thousand Talents scholarship in 2010 and was also awarded a fellowship under another program known as the Yangtze River Scholars. A number of patents with which he has been involved have been assigned to Chongqing University and Baoshan Iron & Steel.
NEIL FOSTER Curtin University Emeritus Professor Foster worked for almost a decade at the CSIRO, leading a project into coal liquefaction. He joined Curtin University in. Foster was awarded a national professorship under the Thousand Talents program in 2010 at the China University of Petroleum. This is disclosed by both Curtin and UNSW, his previous employer.
HAO WANG University of Southern Queensland Professor Wang, an academic in USQ’s School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, joined USQ in 2006. He specialises in composite materials and energy materials. In 2016, he was appointed as a Zhejiang Provincial Thousand Talents scholar with the School of Architecture and Engineering, Jiaxing University. USQ said Wang was not a Thousand Talents scholar but was part of the Overseas Scholars Visiting Program at Jiaxing University, for which he travelled to China for four months each year for three years.
DONGKE ZHANG (below) University of WA Professor Zhang, who specialises in combustion science and fuel technology, is an academic at UWA. While at UWA, he visited Shanxi University in 2012 with the press release noting he was ‘a member of the National Thousand Talents Program’. Zhang’s Thousand Talents involvement ended seven years ago, UWA said.
WENJU CAI CSIRO Professor Cai is a research scientist at CSIRO and a specialist in climate and marine science. He is named in multiple Chinese-language reports as being part of the Thousand Talents program and part of a similar Chinese government scheme known as Aoshan Talents. CSIRO denies he is in the Thousand Talents Plan but admits to the Aoshan Talents program, saying he receives no remuneration for it. It can pay more than $200,000 a year.
DAI LIMING University of NSW Professor Liming, a specialist in carbon-based metal-free renewable energy technology, is a chemical engineering academic at UNSW, which he joined from Case Western Reserve University in 2019 after receiving an ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship. He disclosed to UNSW that he had previously been part of the Thousand Talents scholarship for five years until 2015 and was paid an allowance for this. Liming’s research and inventions have been patented in China. UNSW said these patents were for ‘earlier research in China’ and ‘intellectual property rights were determined by agreements between institutions that funded the research at the time’.
ZHAOYANG (JOE) DONG University of NSW Professor Dong, a specialist in power system planning and stability, joined UNSW in 2017. UNSW said Dong disclosed his participation in Thousand Talent. Despite his 2017 appointment at UNSW, Dong is named as the lead inventor of a 2019 patent application filed by Shenzhen-based Turing Techtron and he is also named in two other applications filed in the last year. UNSW initially said: ‘At no time has Professor Dong sold or relinquished patents to any Chinese power companies’ but it later said patent applications in China had been filed by his former PhD students without his knowledge.
QIAOLIANG BAO Monash University (until 2019) Professor Bao, a nanotechnology specialist, was an academic at Monash University’s material sciences and engineering department until last year. He has been noted as a Thousand Talents scholar since 2014. While employed at Monash, Bao assigned patents to China. Monash declined to respond to questions about Bao or his recent departure from the university and why pages mentioning him had been removed.
XIAO DONG CHEN Monash University (until 2013) Professor Chen, a food scientist, was a chemical engineering academic at Monash University until he left for Soochow University where he founded and now leads chemical and environmental engineering. He was recruited into the Thousand Talents program by an academic colleague and was paid a stipend to move back to China.
MIN GU RMIT (until 2019) Professor Gu, a specialist in optical fibre and laser technology, reached the upper echelons of Australia’s university sector. The Chinese-Australian physicist was a laureate fellow at the Australia Research Council and the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship at RMIT University. While at Swinburne University, he became a Thousand Talents scientist in 2009.
CHANGHAI DING University of Tasmania Professor Ding, a specialist in osteoarthritis and other inflammatory arthritis, is an academic at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania. In 2017, he was selected in the 13th tranche of Thousand Talents scholars and appointed as the executive director of the Zhujiang Hospital Clinical Research Centre at Southern Medical University in China, a PLA-affiliated university.
QINGSONG (ADAM) YE University of Queensland (until 2020) Professor Ye, an academic specialising in orthodontics, joined UQ in 2015, but left the university this year. In 2013, he was appointed as a Thousand Talents scholar in Zhejiang Province attached to Wenzhou Medical College. He then left JCU for the University of Queensland. A 2018 article about a lecture at the Xiangya Stomatology Forum recorded Ye as ‘an expert in the National Thousand Talents program’. UQ became aware that Ye might have had a Thousand Talents affiliation only after he left the university.
BRAD YU/ CHANGBIN YU (above) Curtin University Professor Yu, Curtin University’s Optus Chair of Artificial Intelligence is not part of the Thousand Talents Plan, but is part of Qianjiang Scholar of Zhejiang Provincial Talent program and the Taishan Scholars Project, Shandong Province. He also worked at the Hangzhou Dianzi University, designated “high-risk” for its level of Chinese military defence research. Yu specialises in drone automation and artificial intelligence. After The Australian contacted Curtin, his Hangzhou Dianzi profile was removed. A Curtin spokeswoman said: “Professor Yu has spent some time in Western Australia this year, but is currently in China.”
XIAOFANG ZHOU University of Queensland Professor Zhou, a specialist in data mining and multimedia databases, is a computer science academic at UQ. He is named on PRC websites as a Thousand Talents Plan recipient working with the School of Information, Renmin University of China, Beijing, from 2010. UQ said he declared his association with the Thousand Talents plan and is no longer associated with the program. The Australian revealed Zhou has been listed as an inventor on at least 27 patents in China, assigned to Soochow University. UQ said this was done without his knowledge.
LI WU (above) Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (until 2010) Professor Wu, a specialist in molecular immunology, was a senior researcher and laboratory head at the WEHI until 2008 when she was recruited to the Thousand Talents plan. At that time, she left Melbourne to join the Tsinghua University School of Medicine in Beijing. YUCHAO DAI Australian National University (until 2017) Professor Dai, an expert in image processing and intelligent detection, was an academic at the ANU College of Engineering & Computer Science until 2017. His China Society of Image and Graphics profile states in 2017 he was ‘selected into the Thousand Talents Program youth project’. A 2018 profile for the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Security also notes he is ‘supported by the ‘1000 Young Talent Program’ of China’, as does a conference paper authored by Dai that year.
LING LI (below) University of Queensland (until 2018) Professor Li, a specialist in mathematical modelling of complex environmental systems, was an academic at UQ until 2018. Li was a Chang Jiang scholar from 2003 to 2008 and later a Thousand Talents scholar attached to Hohai University in Nanjing. The Thousand Talents involvement was disclosed to UQ. While working at UQ, Li was named in up to 40 patents in China assigned to Hohai University. UQ said it had now been made aware of two patents with Hohai University with Li named as the inventor.
ANDREW MCMINN University of Tasmania Professor McMinn, a researcher of sea ice ecology and environmental change, is the associate dean of internationalisation at UTas. He has been a Thousand Talents plan scholar, an affiliation disclosed to his university. His scholarship ends in September.
SERGEY SHABALA University of Tasmania Professor Shabala, a professor in plant physiology, specialises in how plants adapt to the environment including extreme temperatures and waterlogging. He is a part of the Thousand Talents scholar program, a disclosed association which ends in June 2021.
HUIJUN ZHAO (above) Griffith University Professor Zhao is the director of Griffith University’s Centre for Clean Environment and Energy, which researches chemical and microbiological approaches to pollutants. Zhao has been part of the Thousand Talents plan since 2012, with affiliation to the Institute of Solid State Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Hefei, an ongoing arrangement disclosed to Griffith University. He receives a daily allowance for expenses while in China. Academics who applied for the thousand talents plan but did not sign a contract JUN WANG University of NSW Professor Wang specialises in mechanical manufacturing, automation and laser processing and has been a professor at UNSW for 15 years. The Australian can reveal he has an official position with the People’s Republic of China’s chief administrative authority, the State Council of China. UNSW said his role on the State Council of China has been disclosed.
“He has co-supervised students overseas, but never participated in any research activities for defence or military purposes related to jet engines anywhere in the world,” a spokeswoman said.
A 2018 press release about Wang’s visit to Qilu University of Technology in Jinan notes he is a “national distinguished expert” of the Thousand Talents. UNSW said Wang was invited to participate in the Thousand Talents program and passed the assessment process but did not accept two offers to join.
“I have never been involved in any research activity for defence and military purposes and never used my work in Australia to apply for a patent with my collaborators in another country,” Professor Wang said.
JIANFU CHEN La Trobe University Professor Chen, who researches international business and trade law and human rights law, is an academic at La Trobe. Chen has denied being a Thousand Talents scholar despite the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing and Inner Mongolia University both noting his appointment to the program in 2011 and 2012. Chen says he was approached in 2010 but declined.
MARK HUMPHREY Australian National University Professor Humphrey, a specialist in molecular materials, is an academic at ANU’s College of Science. The ANU lists him as a recipient of a ‘1000 Talents Award (Chinese Government)’. Humphrey said he successfully applied for the recruitment program but it was ‘never activated’. While at ANU, he is also a professor at Tongji University in Shanghai.
Professor Humphrey said he has never signed a contract with Tongji University. He is supervising two students at Tongji University, for which he says he is not paid. Academics who deny being a thousand talent recruit GUOXIU WANG University of Technology Sydney Professor Wang, an energy storage and batteries specialist, joined UTS after several years at the University of Wollongong.
China’s Yangzhou University website states he was a Thousand Talents recipient as does the Dongguan University of Technology. UTS denies Wang is part of the program. “It is quite common for universities in China to loosely refer to esteemed academics as “Thousand Talents Scholars” as a sign of respect they are not meant to literally signify that the academic is a part of a formal Chinese government sponsored program,” the UTS spokesman said.
When The Australian asked about 11 international patent applications – mostly affiliated with Guangdong University – with Professor Wang listed as the inventor, UTS said that he had ‘no knowledge’ about 10 of them. He has ‘contacted the relevant parties to ask that his name be taken off’.

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